Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Good Time to Speed Up – Vietnam, Iowa, FOE

Not getting respect:

“We also have a good chance in Vietnam,” the minister added. “The United States, France, Canada, Russia, Japan and Korea can build nuclear power plants, but the U.S. lags behind in technology as it hasn’t built one for 20 to 30 years. This is a good time for us to speed up (atomic power plant construction).”

Ouch! That stung a little.

This is South Korea’s Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo. He’s not exactly right – falling behind in construction and in technological advance are two different things and the U.S. has not fallen behind – at all – in technology. But Hong is selling Korean capacity in both, so fine. Still – ouch!

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Land of corn and plenty:

Dueling videos debuted Wednesday on possible nuclear power expansion in Iowa.

A group that opposes nuclear power launched a television ad on the eve of today’s Senate committee hearing on a proposed compromise that advocates hope will push the bill ahead.

And minutes later, MidAmerican Energy released its own Web video, featuring Bill Fehrman, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

The opposing ad is from Friends of the Earth, our old FOEs. I generally find anti-nuclear advocates interesting if not always on target, but not FOE. It’s notably fact free.

But the pleasant surprise is that MidAmerican isn’t standing for it and has put its own ad in response. It’s simply done but that means there’s no manipulation or appeals to emotion. It’s simply Fehrman providing the company’s viewpoint:

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Hey, South Korea was talking about Vietnam above, wasn’t it? Care to know just what Vietnam is up to these days?

"The consistent view of Vietnam is to utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a responsible manner while ensuring safety and security," [Le Dinh Tien, deputy minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology, which] is responsible for overseeing the country's nuclear power, said in January.

By 2030, Vietnam aims to build 10 reactors and, by 2050, it hopes to generate enough nuclear power to account for 20-25 percent of its energy consumption.

Now you know.

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NEI’s main site and the Safety First site have been doing a good job of keeping you up to date on post-Fukushima information and updates (Safety First has a great infographic up right now showing how FLEX, the industry’s response to Fukushima, will work – poster worthy – really), but we’d be remiss not to note good work done by some of the nuclear companies out there.

If you have a few minutes, check out these pages by FPL (Florida Light & Power) and NextEra Energy to see how they are presenting nuclear energy, the accident in Japan and the drive to apply the lessons learned to their fleets. Both are very nicely done – corporate speak kept to a minimum, little to no attempt at spin. (We noticed FPL redid its nuclear energy launch page, too – a lot less text heavy and more inviting.)

2 comments:

jimwg said...

While honorable, these PR education clips have to be far far more aggressive if you want to inspire gut public confidence in nuclear power. The opposition, with a complicit media in tow, is employing outright exaggeration, disinformation and outright lies to tug the emotions and fears of a generally science-illiterate public. You must hit nuke fear at the core -- Death. Take the bull by the horns and explain that since the first reactor in 1942 less people died WORLDWIDE in TOTAL from a nuclear plant accident than got killed in a single jet crash (and all of that is from Chernobyl -- a messed with nuke!). Remind that Fukushima killed no one or destroyed anything beyond its gates even after being hammered by the rare worst case example nature could do to any installation (try that on a oil and gas plant!) The green-agenda media also conveniently overlook that since that first reactor in 1942, over a hundred thousand people died while producing and handling oil and gas and coal around the world and tens of thousands of the public living near since facilities were gassed or fried by their accidents, and worst, that REGULARLY as a NORMAL PART of oil and coal burning two million yearly worldwide suffer from air pollution diseases. ALL FACT, not FEAR! Oh yes, the greens and media have also "forgotten" to mention that "clean" natural gas is a fossil fuel contributing to global warming too! Quite the underhanded way to omit nuclear from the solution! Cite that reactors have tiny real estate footprints that don't blight the landscape -- especially the ones without cooling towers -- and make clean silent neighbors. If you REALLY cared about public health and "your children" you've nukes juicing your homes and factories and cars, not known fossil fuel killers. In light nuclear's history and record, it amazes me how "worst case" bogeymen have replaced peoples reason! Get Aggressive nuclear PR!!!

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but if you think that Safety First infographic is poster-worthy, you have a lot to learn about visual communication. It's not poster worthy, it's blah and bureaucratic and fails to convey any essential point. Sure, the drawings and typography are professional, but visual communication is about more than graphic design details. Effective communication requires clarity of purpose and a proven strategy for achieving that purpose.

What is the purpose of the Safety First infographic? As far as I can tell, the message is that the industry is doing some things to ensure safety. Has safety been ensured? Has there been improvement? Who knows?

Which things have been most important, and why? Which things have been controversial, and why? Good visual communication isn't just a pretty illustration of a technical summary. It has to have a purpose, make a point, even tell a story.